My Grandfather served in World War II. My Father was blown up in Vietnam, waking up on a hospital boat with wounds bad enough to retire him from service, and sent home awarded with a Purple Heart. I have always been truly proud to be an American.
America has been known around the world as the Land of Opportunity. A place where one could achieve anything one puts one’s mind to, no matter who they are. A place that people would immigrate to from different parts of the world to have access to these kinds of opportunities – opportunities so compelling that people would leave their families behind, face famine or even death, to travel by boat, for over a month, to get here.
We have also been known for being at the forefront of freedom and equality. The Land of Equal Opportunity. A nation conceived by the principles announced in our our Declaration of Independence:
“all men are created equal … with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As so eloquently put by Francis Scott Key, the closing verse of which would ring through our heads every day in school and at the start of every sporting event:
“the land of the Free and the home of the Brave”
Is the American Dream Dead?
This morning I received an email from a colleague about a software platform that aims to increase transparency and protect investors that participate in initial coin offerings by using different screening techniques and other proprietary methods to basically remove scam deals. That’s the claimed justification. Now, I am not a passive investor. Anyone that knows me personally knows that my life is invested in GLX.com. But I am a hyper consumer of technology with an insatiable curiosity to test out cool looking products and services.
So I jump in and downloaded their wallet to test this out. I get four minutes into the process, username, password, personal info, etc. and then the process smacks me in the head like a ton of bricks. To use their software you must own their tokens. But they won’t allow me to own their tokens because I live in the United States?
What the f*ck!
Everyday I am reading legal statements similar to:
- The term “Restricted Jurisdiction” means and includes: (i) the United States of America;
- The term “Restricted Persons” refers to any firm, company, partnership, trust, corporation, entity, government, state or agency of a state or any other incorporated or unincorporated body or association, association or partnership (whether or not having separate legal personality) that is established and/or lawfully existing under the laws of the United States of America, under the federal laws of the United States of America or under the laws of any of its States;
- We can’t sell our tokens to U.S. citizens and residents: U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the US, or those who have a primary residence or domicile in the United States, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and any other possessions of the United States can not be holders of our tokens, …;
Or my favorite:
- PLEASE NOTE THAT U.S. CITIZENS OR RESIDENTS MAY NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE TOKEN SALE. IF YOU ARE A NON-U.S. PURCHASER, YOU MAY ONLY PARTICIPATE IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF THE PURCHASE.
What the hell has happened?
I am a firm believer that there is a blockchain revolution going on. A technological revolution that, by some accounts, is as transformative as the invention of the internet itself.
So apparently the entire world is building innovative technologies that Americans cannot use?
Or wait maybe some rich Americans, that are considered sophisticated because they are rich. The fancy term is “Accredited”, in some cases maybe they can have the privilege of using these technologies?
Should I assume that if I am an American building one of these technologies I should be keeping in mind to design it for rich Americans or maybe only for use outside of the United States?
Am I the only one seeing that there is a problem here?
Now I know there are certain regulatory bodies that will jump up and down stating that they are trying to protect investors or more generally the public at large.
Let me get this straight. I have lost my ability to spend my own money to use some software because I live in the U.S.?
I am sorry but I am failing to see clearly how that is protecting me or why I am even subject to this nonsense?
Unalienable – not capable of being taken away or denied.
It is said that President Lincoln considered the Declaration of Independence to be the foundation of his political philosophy and argued that it is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted.
Does our Constitution afford me the right to “OPT-OUT” of the above regulatory protection? Should it?
I wish I could end this article with some answers but I am really confused? I just want to use some software without having to denounce my citizenship?
A revolution is happening and our country seems to be doing a great job of f*cking it up. Good job at making America great again?
Also published on Medium.